#BiWeek: ‘Rap Sh!t’s Jonica Booth Talks Hit HBO Max Show; Authentic Bisexual And POC Representation

In Issa Rae’s Rap Sh!t, actress Jonica Booth plays a stud by the name of Chastity. The character is the self-proclaimed “Duke of Miami” and is a sex work manager but after meeting estranged high school friends Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion), her life begins to change. They form a rap group that begins to gain some traction and Chastity manages to elbow her way into becoming their manager.

Many may recognize Booth from Bad Girls Club, but her career is quickly changing as she has been getting praise for her performance in Rap Sh!t, which was recently renewed for a second season. At first glance, it’s hard to believe that Chastity is played by Booth because they seem so different in appearance – but the representation speaks volumes.

Both Booth and Chastity are from the queer spectrum, with Booth being open about her bisexualty. Anthony Allen Ramos had a chance to speak with Booth during #BiWeek and she was very straightforward with how the world perceives bisexuality as “confusion”

To bisexual naysayers, Booth said: “I know who I'm dating, so I'm not confused. You're confused because you don't understand who I am and that's okay, I love that.”

“I choose this is my life and I choose what I wanna do and who I want to be,” Booth added. “If I want to be a bad bitch one day, then a bad bitch I'll be.” 

Coming off of Insecure, Rae continued to expand the reach of stories by and for Black people; further nudging that seemingly impossible diversity needle Hollywood is so desperately trying to move..Rap Sh!t immediately caught a fan base – especially with the original music including the earworm “Seduce and Scheme” performed by Osman and KaMillion.

With Rae and showrunner Syreeta Singleton (who also worked on Insecure), Rap Sh!t was destined for greatness. For Booth, she urges the importance of representation for people in the margins.

“I'm not Duke but when I've seen more dominant lesbians growing up it was far- fetched… I didn't get to think that it was normal but why can't that be normal for that person?” Booth points out.

She goes on to share experiences about people who aren’t able to live as gay – specifically one young man that she knew was gay in her third grade class. “I was sad for him because he couldn't live in his truth and we were in third grade,” she said, adding that no one wanted to accept someone like him. Everyone laughed at him and pointed, but now, things are different.

More queer stories and more narratives from people of color and historically marginalized communities are sharing their experiences on TV shows like Rap Sh!t. Booth loves that queer stories have become more accepted and that resonate with audiences. 

Booth talks about how she never was able to see herself in the world but when she saw a Black dolls – including WNBA ones – she said, “It made me feel good.”

“Rap Shit” was recently renewed for a second season and you can catch up on the first season now on HBO Max.

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